EU Wants International Control Of Internet - US says its unacceptable
The European Union insisted Friday the job of Internet traffic cop must be shared by governments and the private sector. The U.S. wants to remain the Internet's ultimate authority, rejecting calls in a United Nations meeting in Geneva for a U.N. body to take over.
EU spokesman Martin Selmayr rejected American claims the EU had changed direction. "We are looking for a new cooperation model, a model that allows Internet governance and the laying down of public policy principles in coordination by all countries which are interested in the governance of the Internet because the Internet is a global resource," he said. Negotiators said there was a growing sense a compromise had to be reached and that no single country ought to be the ultimate authority over such a vital part of the global economy.
A top U.S. official said the U.S. was "deeply disappointed," with an EU proposal, made Wednesday, which appeared to support wresting control of domain names from the U.S.-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, and placing it with an intergovernmental group, possibly under the United Nations. "We will not agree to the U.N. taking over the management of the Internet," said Ambassador David Gross, the U.S. coordinator for international communications and information policy at the State Department. "Some countries want that. We think that's unacceptable."